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Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2015 Apr-Jun;29(2):117-23. doi: 10.1097/WAD.0000000000000059.

Mid-life Cardiovascular Risk Impacts Memory Function: The Framingham Offspring Study.

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  • 1Departments of *Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine †Biostatistics, Framingham Heart Study, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA.



This study incorporates unique error response analyses with traditional measures of memory to examine the association between mid-life cardiovascular risk factors and later-life memory function.


The Framingham Stroke Risk Profile (FSRP), a composite score of cardiovascular risk, was assessed in 1755 Framingham Offspring participants (54% women, mean age=54±9 y) from 1991 to 1995. Memory tests including Logical Memory and Visual Reproductions were administered from 2005 to 2008. Linear and logistic regression examined the association between FSRP and memory measures. Interaction between the presence of the ApoE4 allele and each FSRP component on the memory measures was also assessed.


FSRP and the individual components of age, sex, and smoking were related to lower standard scores of memory. The new error response analyses reinforced the standard analyses and also identified new relationships. Participants with diabetes were found to make more errors on Logical Memory, and those with a history of smoking were found to make more errors on Visual Reproductions. Lastly, ApoE4 smokers experienced significant verbal memory loss, whereas ApoE4 smokers did not.


Middle-aged healthy adults with cardiovascular risk factors including diabetes, history of smoking, and ApoE4 positivity were found to have greater later-life memory impairments.

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